Kasoa, formerly known as Odupongkpehe, is a coastal town in the Awutu Senya East Municipal District of the Central Region in Ghana. Reportedly, Odupongkpehe/Kasoa is one of the fastest growing communities in West Africa. In 1970, Odupongkpehe/Kasoa was a rural community. Since then, its population has multiplied nearly hundred times.
The clash between tradition and modernization may – partly – explain what recently happened in this fast growing urban community. Two teenagers were apprehended and accused of murdering a ten-year old child for ritualistic purposes after being requested by a fetish priest in the Volta Region who told the two suspects to bring human parts for rituals. It is not known what has happened with the fetish priest.
The law must take its course. However, society must reflect upon this heinous crime committed by two adolescents who, very likely, did not grow up in the tradition of a rural or village community. How could this happen? What is the role and responsibility of the parents? Have the two suspects been to school, what have the teachers taught them?
Maybe too many questions for the moment, but urgent reflection and action is required to avoid a repetition of this gruesome ritualistic act (webmaster FVDK).
Kasoa: Two teenagers arrested over alleged ritual murder of 10-year-old
Published: April 4, 2021 By: Modern Ghana
Two persons, an 18-year-old and a 19-year-old are in the custody of the Kasoa Divisional Police Command for allegedly killing a 10-year-old boy for money rituals at Lamptey Mills, a suburb of Kasoa.
According to sources the suspects lured the deceased, only known as Ishmael by his peers, into an uncompleted building and hit him with an object, killing him instantly.
There are claims that a fetish priest in the Volta Region told the two suspects to bring human parts for rituals, hence the action of the pair.
The mother of the boy, Hajia Maame told Citi News that she is shocked by the news of her son’s demise.
The suspects are currently assisting in investigations.
Meanwhile, the Kasoa Divisional Police Command has so far not commented officially on the incident or the arrests.
The following is a heartbreaking story. The administration of the TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, which runs a school in Paynesville, in Greater Monrovia, asked the parents of a six-year-old kindergarten pupil to stop sending her to the school. The reason? The child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. My initial reaction was, and to a certain extent still is one of disbelief. Knowing Liberia, I am aware that among members of certain communities the belief in witchcraft still exists, even today, in 2021, in the 21st century. Many Liberians use a mobile telephone. Also, the use of internet is widespread in Liberia. Yet the belief in magical powers, superstition, witchcraft hasn’t disappeared. Superstition can only be eliminated from society through education and awareness, yet in this case those who are engaged in these institutions show that they too believe in witchcraft.
I was struck and outraged for three reasons. First, parents entrust their children to teachers in schools and kindergartens because they expect that their children are thus protected by people who are well educated and trained, and qualified for their job. And yet these teachers and administrators disappoint us by believing in witchcraft, humiliating an innocent six-year old child by expelling her from school and making her an outcast in society!
Secondly, in any well functioning society there exists a system of checks and balances, institutions that watch and check on the respect of rules which we have agreed on as a society. In Liberia, the Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing the activities of schools. Moreover, there is a Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection with a clear mandate. I woud have expected an immediate reaction of these two governmental institutions. Besides, the school is located near the residence of President Weah. Where are the authorities in Liberia when a six-year old child and her parents need them??
Last but not least, it is mind-boggling that responsible, adult people decide to insult, hurt, – I even call it torture – an innocent, small child that needs love, protection and guidance, and who should not be rejected, stigmatized, expelled from school, rejected by her friends and the society. Those who are responsible for this reprehensible, repulsive behavior should be brought before justice since what they have done is nothing less than a crime. I mention here the school’s principal and notably the proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah. On a national level, President Weah and/or the Legislature should immediately summon the Minister of Education, Prof Ansu D. Sonii, and the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, William-Etta Piso Saydee-Tarr, question them how this can happen, ask them whether this is an unique act and situation or if it happens more frequently in the country, and instruct them to take all measures needed to avoid a repeat of this situation. (webmaster FVDK)
— Parents plead for gov’t, CSOs intervention; say no money to send child to another school
By Aryee Davis
A school in Paynesville has expelled one of its students for the child’s alleged involvement in witchcraft activities. Though without any form of proof, TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, located in the Rehab Community, recently asked the parents of the six-year-old kindergarten student to stop sending her to the school.
According to the parents of the child, who we shall refer to as Miemie to protect her identity, the school expelled her in a bid to prevent the child from potentially harming other students through the alleged witchcraft activities.
Located just a few minutes from President George Weah’s residence, the administration of TYNECEPLOH has been in existence for just over a year. Little Miemie was among the first batch of students who started attending the school when it was established last academic year. The school’s administrators admitted to the Daily Observer that the child was expelled, but refused to disclose the reason for the expulsion.
The child’s parents are pleading with the government and human rights advocates to probe the case to enable her to be reinstated.
When asked whether the allegation against her is true, Miemie burst into tears. She denied ever being a witch, insisting that the school administration’s action against her was based on rumors spread by her classmates.
Her expulsion from the newly established primary school comes in the wake of the harsh economic constraints that Liberians are being faced with as parents struggle to fend for their kids and at the same time send them to school.
“My friends lied on me to my teacher so they say I should not go to school again. Every day, when I see my friends going to school I can be crying. I want to go back to school. I miss my friends and my teacher,” Miemie explained.
To make matters worse, Miemie is now being stigmatized by her neighbors because of the same ‘witchcraft’ allegations. Some families in the neighborhood have banned their children from associating with her.
“My friends in my yard can’t play with me again; they are afraid of me, and only my small brother and I can play,” she added.
“I was on my way to the school on Tuesday morning, I received a message from my daughter’s teacher, only known as Ruth, that I should go on the campus as they wanted to see me. So I went there to find out what happened and, shockingly to me, I was told to take my daughter home,” Miemie’s mother explained.
“When I got on the campus, I met my daughter’s class sponsor, the principal, and the proprietor, who told me that my daughter’s classmates told their teacher that Miemie said she will kill the teacher, the principal, and suck the children’s blood. For this reason, she will not attend school again. The next day, my aunty and I went on the campus to appeal for Miemie to end the school year but they told me that their decision is final,” Miemie’s mother continued.
Miemie’s grandmother, who sells boiled cassava and coconut to pay the child’s tuition, could not hold back her tears at the allegation. “How can this six-year-old child kill her teacher, principal and suck her classmates’ blood? I took care of this child from birth because her father is not working I have never seen anything relating to witchcraft about my grandchild,” she said.
The proprietor of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation, Napoleon Chattah, confirmed to this reporter that the child has been expelled from the school but declined to state the actual reason for or details concerning the expulsion.
When asked to see the Principal of the school, the proprietor, who was now visibly irritated, said that the principal was not available to speak because he had gone out to run some errands for the school.
“I’m the best person to provide answers to all the inquiries,” Mr. Chattah sharply replied.
But a source from the school that asked not to be named hinted that the administration of TYNECEPLOH Education Foundation told Miemie’s parents to take her to pastors for what they termed as ‘deliverance prayers’, after which the parents will provide a note from the church or pastor confirming that the child is free from witchcraft practices before being accepted back in school.
According to the source, Miemie’s expulsion is on the basis that she’s a witch and that her presence at the school would be dangerous for other kids sharing a class with her.
With this argument, the source continued, the school is insinuating that little Miemie has the power of the ‘dark world’ and could potentially initiate other students.
Sources who are well experienced in the deliverance of suspected or known witches told the Daily Observer that those who practice witchcraft activities have the ability to initiate others. “It is often held that parents, close relatives or friends who are witches often find it easy to initiate other children into the practice. It is also believed that children who are members of the dark world are frequently sent on missions by their superiors to recruit or sometimes harm their peers,” one deliverance minister, who requested not to be named, explained.
Miemie’s parents are however calling on the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and Child Rights advocacy groups to probe what they consider to be an unjust decision by the school.
Asked why Miemie cannot be taken to another school, the mother said she cannot afford it because there is no money.
“The little money we had at the beginning of the school year is what we used to register our daughter. We do not have any money to take her to another school,” she said, adding, “If even we could raise a little money, we will not be able to also send her to a faraway school because schools within the community might not accept her because of the allegation. This is why we are calling on relevant authorities to probe into the situation to clear our daughter’s name.
Sad news. Of course, every murder or ritualistic murder is a sad event, both for the victim and for the families left behind. Senseless murders of people with physical disabilities hurt us even more. In Kogi State the recent murder of a 62-year old hunchback, Ahmed Suberu, is not an isolated crime. Recently, more people with humps have disappeared in Kogi State, to be found back dismembered, with vital organs missing.
Two persons have been arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Ahmed Suberu. Whether they are guilty, it’s up to the judges to determine.
The swift move of police authorities does not mean that ritualistic murders of this type will no longer be committed. To realize this, we need a change of mindset. Superstitious people should be taught that witchcraft does not help to increase one’s wealth, health, reputation or success. Education is, next to the rule of law, are main weapon against these odious crimes. (webmaster FVDK).
Suspected ritualist abduct, murder Kogi hunchback
Published: December 14, 2020 By: Punch. Nigeria
Tension has gripped Obeiba Ihima community, in the Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State, following the abduction and murder of a 62-year-old hunchback, Ahmad Suberu, by suspected ritual killers.
Sources in the community told PUNCH Metro that persons with humps had been disappearing in Obeiba Ihima and Ihima Ba in recent times.
Before Suberu, another pregnant woman with a hump was said to have been abducted about two weeks earlier and murdered by suspected ritual killers.
Suberu, an indigene of Ihima Ba, was reportedly kidnapped on Monday, November 23, 2020, at Obeiba Ihima, while on his way to a mosque for prayers.
His dismembered corpse was said to have been found on December 8 in a bush at Ega community, in the Adavi LGA, with his heart, kidney and other sensitive organs missing.
The Executive Director of Disability Rights Action Group, Raphael Chikwado, and deceased’s daughter, Zuleihat Suberu, confirmed the incident in separate interviews with PUNCH Metro.
“His hump was taken away, as confirmed from his dead body, which made us to come to the conclusion that it was taken for some odious reasons. From the way we met the dead body, it revealed that he was dumped at Ega some days after being killed,” the 23-year-old only child of the victim said.
Chikwado said, “He was abducted by gunmen in a black SUV while waiting to cross the road leading to Oride Mosque, beside St. Paul’s Church, Obeiba Ihima. An eyewitness reported that the vehicle drove from Okene axis, picked him up and drove off through Ega Road.
“Unfortunately, the coordinator, Kogi State chapter of DRAG, Ahmed Onimisi, contacted the DRAG office headquarters in Lagos around 5pm on December 9 when he broke the news to us that Suberu was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday, December 8, at Ega in Adavi LGA of the state.
“Before his death, the late Suberu was an ardent member of DRAG. DRAG is going to explore every legal avenue within the organisation to pursue justice for the deceased’s family and for the entire community of persons with disabilities in Nigeria.”
He said two suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime, adding that they were being detained at the police command headquarters in Lokoja.
The Officer-in-Charge of the case at the Kogi State Police Command, Gabriel Obafemi, told PUNCH Metro that investigation was on to track the killers.
He said, “We are only trying to see if we can know the perpetrators. I heard that his corpse has been recovered and I sent my boys to go there and check because the information came to me yesterday (Saturday).”
Another development in the sad saga of the ritualistic murder of the young, 7-year old Tapiwa Makore. It must be said that local authorities and notably the local police acted swiftly after the discovery of the victims’ mutilated body, on September 18. Even President Mnangagwa reacted on the muthi (muti) murder, condemning the heinous crime on September 25 (see my posting dated October 2, 2020).
It is believed by superstitious, wicked people that body parts which have been taken – from a living victim (!) – and processed in a particular way, by a traditional healer or witchdoctor (n’anga), that these ritualistic activities will enhance one’s power or wealth.
There is no place for such superstition and disrespect for human life in the year 2020 (or before that year). The rule of law must apply, suspects should be put on trial and judged by an independent judge. And more prevention should take place: through education.
Warning: The following articles contain graphic details of the cruel murder (webmaster FVDK).
Murehwa ritual murder: Police quiz n’anga
Published: October 16, 2020 By: The Herald, Zimbabwe – Investigations Editor
POLICE have picked up a traditional healer for questioning over the missing head of the seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, suspected to have been murdered for ritual purposes.
Body parts taken in a ritual murder which occurred at Makore Village under Chief Mangwende, would have to be processed in particular ways, the superstitious believe, so that they bring good fortune and riches.
Police started hunting for the traditional healer they believed was implicated in this killing soon after they arrested the two men they suspect were the actual killers.
Only a torso and legs were recovered from the dismembered body, but the head is still missing.
In their investigations, police recovered the head of another child, a 12-year-old, in the same village, but think it may have been exhumed from a grave.
Although the police did not disclose the name of the traditional healer, they confirmed he was being questioned.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said police have established that they had been given a lot of misleading information on the death of the boy and people were hiding crucial information.
“We have realised that some people are not telling the truth and they are hiding crucial information. But we will surely get to the bottom of the matter and the truth will come out,” said Asst-Comm Nyathi.
Tapiwa was allegedly murdered for ritual purposes by his uncle Tapiwa Makore (Senior) who used his own domestic worker, Tafadzwa Shamba (40).
The boy was kidnapped in the family garden in the village.
Shamba, a herdsman, and the boy’s uncle have since been arrested and taken to court facing murder charges.
They now await trial while in remand prison. They were remanded in custody to October 26 in absentia yesterday, as they are still assisting police with investigations.
Meanwhile, police have taken the head of a 12-year-old child recently found in the same village for forensic analysis.
There has been no report of another missing child in that age group, creating room for suspicion that the head could have been exhumed from a grave.
“The other head found in Makore village is now subject to forensic analysis. So far no report of a missing person falling in that category has been received by the police. We are still investigating that matter,” said Asst-Comm Nyathi.
During investigations, Shamba recently told detectives he killed the boy by cutting off the head with a knife in the dead of the night, while the boy’s uncle was holding a torch.
Shamba said after the alleged murder, he carried a black plastic bag containing the head and the dismembered body while his employer, who is the boy’s uncle, carried another bag containing the arms and legs.
He led the team of detectives to the uncle’s homestead where he said he fed the boy, drugged him with kachasu and locked him up in a room for hours.
Shamba said he met the boy’s uncle around midnight and took the boy to a nearby mountain, where they allegedly killed him.
“Around midnight, we opened the door and I carried the boy, who was still in deep slumber to a mountain in the village. Mr Makore carried the knives and the plastic bags. While here (in the mountain), I pressed the boy to the ground and cut off his head with a sharp knife, while his uncle was holding a torch for lighting.
“I also cut off the hands and legs, but we packed the parts in different plastic bags. I carried the one with the torso and the head while Mr Makore carried another one containing the legs and hands,” he said.
At the scene, investigators saw human waste, believed to have been excreted by the boy during the murder.
Shamba told detectives that he cleaned the scene of the blood and set the grass on fire to destroy evidence.
He said while walking back to Makore’s homestead, he felt the load was becoming heavier before dumping the torso near Mr Summer Murwira’s homestead.
While at Makore’s homestead, Shamba said he was instructed to put the head in one of the rooms, which he did.
The following day, Shamba said he dumped the arms and legs at a nearby grave as police investigations were intensifying.
Gospel musician Pastor Charles Charamba has condemned the killing of children for ritual purposes. The condemnation comes in the wake of the murder of a seven-year-old Murehwa boy, Tapiwa Makore, for ritual purposes, allegedly by his uncle.
In an interview with Hmetro, Pastor Charamba decried the loss of young children as a result of heinous and evil actions for rituals and witchcraft purposes.
“The disappointing aspect in this account of Tapiwa from Murewa is that those men that wanted to be rich, wanted to be rich during this lockdown knowing that everyone in the world has been impoverished.
“They were led by that need to be rich when everything else around the world is stagnant, that is very evil,” Pastor Charamba said.
Pastor Charamba revealed that he is pained by the unfortunate killing of Tapiwa Makore for ritual purposes. He emphasized how the Bible talks about the sacredness of life.
“For me as a pastor, it is very unfortunate that we lost Tapiwa and others of his age but I am saying that life is sacred.
He explained it is painful and unfortunate that these killings are done by people very close to the children. He called on guardians to keep children safe and not to fall under the influence of superstition as it is an enemy of society.
“It is something that is very sad and very unfortunate because it is being done by people who are supposed to be trusted custodians of the children. They abuse their offices and also abuse their relationships with their victims.
“We are hoping that the Almighty guides us so that our society changes and improves when it comes to issues that have to do with trust.
“Above all, the way in which we people want money nowadays is not a good way at all and this is also being caused by what is known as superstition because what people usually regard as worshipping is not actually worshipping,” he said.
Murehwa Ritual Murder Details… Victim’s Uncle Wanted To Get Rich
The senseless murder of 7 year old Tapiwa Makore from Makore Village under Chief Mangwende, in Murehwa, left the whole country with a bitter taste in their mouths.
The whole country is still recovering from the heinous crime and never has been the pursuit of justice been swift and urgent before.
Tapiwa Makore was abducted while he was watching over his family’s garden from thieving monkeys, only for his mutilated corpse to turn up the next day, being ravaged by the Makore neighbors’ oblivious dogs.
A breakthrough emerged in the case, after the cattle herdman, Tafadzwa Shamba was arrested in connection with the murder, eventually leading to Tapiwa’s namesake and uncle, as being the mastermind behind the cold blooded killing.
The police were correct in treating it as a ritual murder, because that is what it turned out to be after further investigations.
Ritual murders are often accompanied by mutilation and the dismemberment of certain body parts which are believed to be the main ingredients for spells, this mostly includes the head, private parts, tongue and sometimes the eyes and limbs.
The reason behind Tapiwa Makore’s murder is more shocking like the murder itself.
According to state broadcaster reports earlier this week, his uncle had him killed because he wanted to increase his wealth and boost his horticulture project using dark magic.
Tapiwa Makore’s other body parts were taken to a yet to be identified witch doctor, who would then perform the spell.
Even more chilling was the fact that Tapiwa Makore Senior stood by, holding a torch for illumination, as Tafadzwa Shamba was murdering his nephew.
Is the capital punishment a justifiable sanction or a sufficient deterrent to ritualistic murders, money rituals, muti murders, or whatever one calls the heinous crimes which ruthless criminals commit to increase their wealth, prestige or power? In Osun State, Nigeria, legislators contemplate to prescribe the death penalty for kidnappers and ritual killers. See the article below.
The United Nations has voted in favor of a moratorium on the death penalty (though Nigeria was among those voting against the resolution). It is to be doubted seriously if the capital punishment serves as a deterrent to ritual killers. Wouldn’t it be more logical and useful to eradicate superstition – which lies at the base of the belief in juju – by providing the necessary education and to create more job opportunities? (webmaster FVDK).
Kidnappers to Face Death Penalty in Osun
Published: February 26, 2020 By: This Day, Nigeria – Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Hon Timothy Owoeye, yesterday said the state kidnapping and other related crimes (prohibition) bill 2020 would prescribe death penalty for kidnappers and also compliment efforts of the Amotekun Corps when fully inaugurated.
The Speaker at the public hearing on Osun State kidnapping and other related crimes prohibition bill 2020 stated that it is imperative to have an enabling law to ensure quick and diligent prosecution of kidnappers.
Owoeye pointed out that ever since the issue of Amotekun Corps arose, there has been a downward trend in the cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states.
He held that the seveth Assembly under his watch is reviewing the existing laws on kidnapping which recommended that 14 years would be reviewed to death penalty.
The Speaker added that should the bill scale through the needed stages, those caught with human parts and kidnappers whose victims dies in the process of abduction would face death sentence as against imprisonment obtainable before now.
Owoeye noted that with the way kidnapping is becoming lucrative, it is sacrosanct that laws with severe consequences be put in place to protect Nigerians from kidnappers.
According to him, “Ever since the issue of Amotekun came up, I have noticed downward cases of kidnapping in Osun and other South-western states; however I am more afraid of the surge in ritual related cases.
“The country was saddened at the gruesome murder and dismembering of a 23-year-old 400 level LASU student, Favour Oladele, for money ritual purposes. We the Osun people are sadder that the killing took place in Ikoyi town, in our own soil.
“As parents and community leaders, we must begin to re-orientate our young ones on this prevailing get-rich-quick syndrome. There is no shortcut to success, the only way is preparation, hard work, patience and perseverance.”
Also, the Chairman of Osun Civil Society Coalition, Waheed Lawal, has given reasons for government at all levels to re-double their efforts to create job for employable youths, stating that it would go a long way in reducing the crime rate in the country.
Police Community Relations Committee Chairman in the state, Amitolu Shittu, on his own, commended the seventh Assembly for championing the crusade to bring sanity to the society.
Superstition, witchcraft, fear, mob justice, murder, ritual killing – what is the common denominator? Yes, ignorance. Lack of education. Which does not mean that well educated people are not involved in ritualistic murders. Bu that’s another story (webmaster FVDK).
Elderly Nyamira woman killed over witchcraft Published: January 26, 2020 By: Standard, Kenya – James Ongwae
Police in Nyamira are investigating the killing of an elderly woman in what has been viewed as a ritual killing.
County Commissioner Amos Mariba said he had ordered the immediate arrest and bringing to book of all the people believed to have been behind the killing of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi,60, at Bundo in Bogichora, Nyamira South.
Mariba said the body of the woman was found in a eucalyptus farm, about 50 meters away from her house.
“The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,” Mariba said.
The County Commissioner said some of the things which were retrieved beside the body included two dead rats, two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black track tracksuit alongside a red pen.
Mariba said the deceased’s husband Peter Nyagwachi reported to authorities that his wife was picked from her house Sunday morning at around 3 am by a group of people known to him on suspicion that she was a witch.
James Orutwa, a clan elder at Bundo Village said he heard people wailing from the scene where the body was recovered and went there only to find out that the woman had long died.
“From a close look, the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head and superficial wound on the left leg.
Mariba said police had swung into action and all that was possible was being done to ensure anyone who participated in the killing faces the law.
This is not the first incident of such a ritual killing.
Two years ago, another woman from Bonyamatuta village was also killed on suspicion that she was a witch.
Sixty year old woman killed in Nyamira over witchcraft Published: January 26, 20202 By: KDRTV, Kenya – Cynthia Mutinda
A 60 year old woman by the name of Agnes Wamboka Nyagwachi was found dead at Bundo Bogichora, Nyamira South over what id believed to be a killing ritual. Her body was found on the ground in a eucalyptus farm which is located about fifty meters from her house.
”The body was lying on the ground and beside it were things which have led us to believe that it was a killing related to witchcraft or some form of rituals and currently we are narrowing down on a possible perpetrators of the cold blood murder,”County commissioner Amos Mariba said.
Amos revealed that two dead rats,two brooms, two stones, one white pair of shorts, a full dress, two empty sacks, a black tracksuit and a red pen were some of the things retrieved besides Agnes’ body.
Investigations of the killing are currently being carried out by the police in Nyamira.
The court commission has ordered for the arrest of all the people that are believed to be behind the demise of Agnes Kwamboka Nyagwachi.
Peter Nyagwachi, the deceased husband told the authorities that a group of people known to him came to their home on Sunday morning around 3 am and picked his wife on a suspicion that Agnes was a witch.
James Orotwa, a clan elder at Bundo village said that he heard deafening screams coming from the eucalyptus farm and upon arrival at the scene found the woman long dead.
He revealed that the body bore multiple injuries on the left side of the head with a superficial wound on her left leg.
This is however was not the first time that such an incident has occurred. Two years ago, another woman in Bunyamatuta village was murdered on suspicion that she too practiced witchcraft.
Mariba promised that the police are working hard to ensure that the culprits who participated in the killing of Agnes face the law.
Lack of education and superstition go hand in hand. Compliments for the LNP and the Gender Ministry for this timely action! In 2007 President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf made primary school education compulsory and free (by the way, not for the first time in Liberia’s history…), what happened to the law? (webmaster FVDK)
Published: January 17, 2020 By: The Bush Chicken, Sualeh Ziamo
GANTA, Nimba – The Liberia National Police and authorities of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection have rescued 29 children who were taken to a church for deliverance after being accused of practicing witchcraft.
The Gender Ministry’s supervisor assigned in Nimba, Victor Zeegban, told The Bush Chicken that the children were taken to the Fire for Fire Deliverance Church in Ganta for spiritual cleansing, on suspicion that they were involved in witchcraft activities.
Zeegban said his office had received a tip from community dwellers about the kids being mistreated at the center and abandoned by relatives who took them there.
“After receiving the tipoff, we dispatched our social workers to the church to see for themselves and they came back and reported to us that the kids were actually abandoned by their parents and guardians,” he said.
“Through our fact-finding visits, we even got to know that some of the kids were taken there at the age of one and have spent over three years in the church’s yard.”
He also confirmed that the children were being mistreated and found in appalling conditions, with no access to medication when they fell sick. According to him, one of the children died in May last year.
“I saw with my own eyes one of the children’s hands [being] tied with [a] rope on grounds that he was possessed [by] a strong spirit from the dark world,” Zeegban explained.
He also disclosed that the Gender Ministry was relocating the children to a safe home in Sanniquellie, where they will remain until they are possibly reunited with their families. Zeegban assured that the children would be supported by partners of the ministry.
Meanwhile, the commander of the police’s Women and Children Protection Section in Ganta, Jenkins Mangou, has praised members of the community for the important role they played in the children’s rescue.